Are more hospital contracts switching to RVUs?

July 18, 2008

Are RVU-based contracts the standard in today's medical environment?

I'm a family physician employed by a not-for-profit hospital. In my initial contract, my pay was based on the number of patients I saw, but my new contract is RVU-based. Now I'm earning 20 percent less than I was previously. I'd like the hospital to switch back to the patient-visit-based formula. Are such contracts still used, or are RVU-based contracts the standard in today's medical environment?

RVU-based contracts are becoming more common and often are better for the physician, as long as he or she codes correctly. The RVU-based compensation formula better reflects the complexity of patient visits. So whenever you see patients who are elderly, slow, or more compromised, you're paid more. Instead of lobbying for a contract based on the number of patient visits, you'd be wise to learn as much as possible about coding to make sure you're claiming everything you're entitled to for each visit.

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